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Hendrix Names New Faculty Director for Women’s Leadership Community

Dr. Garbiñe Vidal-Torreira to lead professional networking community for women

CONWAY, Ark. (March 27, 2024) — Hendrix College has named Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Garbiñe Vidal-Torreira the new Faculty Director of the Hendrix Women’s Leadership Community.

The Women’s Leadership Community was established in 2022 with the support of Heather Gardner ’93, a member of the Hendrix College Board of Trustees, and her sister, Mary Gardner Burrelle ’95, to provide resources for bringing together female Hendrix students and alumnae to create a network that offers leadership development programming, career guidance, mentoring, and internships. It fosters a community of support by connecting individuals through personal and professional networks to combat the challenges women often encounter in their work-life trajectories.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Vidal-Torreira lead this exciting program for our current female students and Hendrix alumnae, and I look forward to seeing it thrive under her leadership,” said Hendrix President Karen Petersen. “We are grateful to Heather Gardner and Mary Gardner Burrelle for their generosity and vision.”

Vidal-Torreira joined the Hendrix faculty in 2013. She earned her Ph.D. in Spanish with a graduate specialization in women’s and gender studies from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she taught in the English Department’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Her research focuses on contemporary Spanish women writers and has analyzed their works in published literary journal articles and book chapters.

“I am excited to empower and connect women at all stages of their careers, from our Hendrix students to our alumnae,” said Vidal-Torreira. “Women can empower other women to find the courage to dream bigger. Women can provide the room for other women to take up space. We can also seek to normalize imperfection and approach it with a growth mindset. For instance, I often tell my students I have a folder where I store rejections from prior projects as a reminder that growth often comes from failure. Women leaders, presenting themselves proudly and visibly as they are, can offer a wide array of models for others to follow.”

Vidal-Torreira’s tenure follows the community’s inaugural faculty director, Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Professor of Psychology Dr. Leslie Templeton. Templeton provided leadership and structure for the program’s steering committee and established programmatic goals to create networking and professional opportunities for community members.

“Our community is grateful for Dr. Templeton’s leadership in launching this special program and ensuring its long-term success,” said Petersen.

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at  

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose